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Misery Signals - Mirrors (Cover Artwork)

Misery Signals

Misery Signals: MirrorsMirrors (2006)
Ferret Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: crazytoledocrazytoledo
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Misery Signals' Of Malice and the Magnum Heart was easily one of the better metalcore releases over the last few years. Not only did they showcase some fine musicianship, but they were fronted by one of the genre's strongest vocalists in Jesse Zaraska. Between albums, however, Zaraska left the band .
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Misery Signals' Of Malice and the Magnum Heart was easily one of the better metalcore releases over the last few years. Not only did they showcase some fine musicianship, but they were fronted by one of the genre's strongest vocalists in Jesse Zaraska. Between albums, however, Zaraska left the band and they replaced him with newcomer Karl Schubach. Zaraska was one of the defining parts of Misery Signals, so I was nervous to see how they sounded with a new vocalist.

It was only inevitable that the new vocalist couldn't live up to the expectations set by Zaraska, but I was hoping for the vocals to be at least somewhat passable. Of all the people they could have gotten to fill the vacant spot, they decided to pick up your dime-a-dozen hardcore vocalist. Karl Schubach literally just barks over every song. There's no variety, no range, no emotion, just him barking his head off. For the most part, it doesn't completely kill most of the songs, but when the music starts to slide in a little bit of melody, Schubach simply doesn't shine where Zaraska did.

Besides some of the most disappointing vocals on an album as of late, the music work here is once again top notch. If you don't pay close attention you might miss out on all the layered guitar work thrown in. Ryan Morgan and Stuart Ross shift back and forth between some chaotic metal riffs and some rather melodic guitar lines that create a similar atmosphere to their previous outing. Just listen to the clean break on "The Failsafe," which is easily the best moment on Mirrors. Other songs like the title track and "One Day I'll Come Home" also allow Misery Signals to showcase their musical ability. The only problem here is that some of the songs start to sound similar as the album goes on.

In the end, Mirrors could have been a genre defining album, but the vocals just don't work. The reason this band stood out was Jesse Zaraska, and his replacement can't keep up the pace, though it can't keep down all of the songs, as this band knows how to play their instruments. Still, that doesn't fix the album's flaws and Mirrors is left to be just another medicore album.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
xxiLuVoLiSyKeSxx (December 26, 2008)

bring me the horizon is beter!!!!

xFreezyx (June 16, 2007)

You guys are all fucking stupid. No one can touch Karl in his type of vocals.

depikt (October 16, 2006)

Actually I have heard the demos. I thought the vocals sounded amature, and rushed- topped off with a heavy overdrive. I thought that performance wise, they were much better on the full length- but I still think the production was ridiculous.

crazytoledo (October 12, 2006)

The vocals are even better.

And Jesse is better than Karl.

crazytoledo (October 12, 2006)

If Jesse's voice is what stood out to you, then that could only be because they are horribly over produced on, "Of Malice". Don't get me wrong- I absolutely loved that album, but the biggest downfall for me were Jesse's vocals. Yeah- he had good range at times, but for the most part the reason his vocals sounded they way they did is because they produced the living crap out of them.

Have you heard the demos from Of Malice? The vocals way even better.

depikt (October 9, 2006)

"The reason this band stood out was Jesse Zaraska" - are you serious? This band is on a whole different musical plane then most generic hardcore acts out there. If Jesse's voice is what stood out to you, then that could only be because they are horribly over produced on, "Of Malice". Don't get me wrong- I absolutely loved that album, but the biggest downfall for me were Jesse's vocals. Yeah- he had good range at times, but for the most part the reason his vocals sounded they way they did is because they produced the living crap out of them. And not to mention that his lyrics were quite cheesy in many cases.

If you've followed this band at all, you'd know of their history as 7 angels 7 plagues and that their former singer from that band had an incredibly deep gutteral voice, and I think they were trying to get back to that with this record. Karl has amazing intensity and emotion that he shows through his vocals, regardless if he has a magnificent range or not. And to top it off- his lyrics are so much more sincere and thought provoking then Jesse's ever were.

If the person that posted this, or the people that agree with this review have no understanding of production and things of that sort- I suggest you listen to both records again with headphones. Karl's performance is so much more organic both in sound, and true emotion. Jesse's are pretty much manufactured. There is so much layering, distortion, stereo panning, and even pitch shifting in some cases- it's almost no longer his real voice.

elliot (October 6, 2006)

to say that karl has no vocal range is ridiculous. he mixes it up a lot throughout the album.

i'm sorry, but this review is just way off. album deserves at least an 8.

crazytoledo (September 1, 2006)


This review screams of someone who felt they were special because they personally knew Jesse and because of some personal vendetta they have their head so firmly entrenched up their ass that they can't give it a half-fair review. For shame.


No I didn't know Jesse. I just really liked their prior album and there were a lot of times on this album were I was thinking 'Jesse would have killed at this part' but instead I was treated to your standard, typical metalocore vocalist barking over the song. He just doesn't fit as well.

Anonymous (August 31, 2006)

of malice the best metalcore cd? personally i dont think it's got anything on 7a7p but i guess that's just my oppinion. i agree that the vocalist is kinda cheesy on this one, but I think that about 99% of metalcore bands so that's not really a surprise. misery signals does enough stuff to keep them a step above the average metalcore band, but still not amazing by any means.

Anonymous (August 31, 2006)

the guitar work is on this album is unparalelled. no other metalcore band can even touch misery signals.

tessmer (August 29, 2006)

Whats wrong with myspace?

Nothing, but if you're in a band you shouldn't have to resort to using it to find a replacement.


This is stupid. Just because technology makes it more efficient to find like-minded musicians instead of using zines or whatever used to be classified as punk rock, don't mean that Misery Signals "resorted" to anything.

Karl is a wicked guitarist who's always appreciated their insane musicianship, and just happens to be a pretty darn good vocalist who fit their style.

This review screams of someone who felt they were special because they personally knew Jesse and because of some personal vendetta they have their head so firmly entrenched up their ass that they can't give it a half-fair review. For shame.

wyefa (August 28, 2006)

This album was great.

thefullycrown (August 26, 2006)

The reason this band stood out was Jesse Zaraska

Jesse Zaraska was the band's weakest point IMO. he couldnt sing the songs live, he looked like he was out of breath, the studio work alone they did with his vocal tracks (it doesnt take a genius to pick them out) doesnt make for a STAND OUT experience to me. as a dedicated fan since the release of their EP and after experiencing both old and new singer, Karl breathes much needed life into their live show. as well this cd is by far their best creation yet to date. the guitar work and drumming are unbelieveable and blend perfectly well with the new vocals.

Anonymous (August 25, 2006)

heres my opinion.. i love "of malice" more than any album in music period. but the new one isnt bad at all. its probably the beast album in hardcore/metalcore/heavy music to come out since "of malice". the new singer doesent bother me. in fact i love how powerfull his growl is and i know it may be some what generic but to me it fits. but misery signals to me has always been about the instruments. as a guitarist i see misery signals in a different light than most people, and the instrumental genious in this album satisfies me 100%. i mean "of malice" was better in every aspect, but this one is almost as good. seriusly if i never heard "of malice" i would rate "mirrors" a perfect ten. i see it this way..

OMATMH= 10
MIRRORS= 9.89

Anonymous (August 25, 2006)

Sorry but In my opinion Jesse blows, Karls way better hahahaha

crazytoledo (August 24, 2006)

Whats wrong with myspace?

Nothing, but if you're in a band you shouldn't have to resort to using it to find a replacement.

Anonymous (August 24, 2006)

Whats wrong with myspace?

Big_Guy (August 22, 2006)

So I guess I just cant feel this new lineup because part of the appeal for me to Misery Signals was the amount of hardcore historic significance in not just the members, but the lyrics. Compromise and 7A7P all met terrible demises, and formed together a sort of super-group of sorts. Adding a new vocalist schmuck they found off MySpace of all fucking things just strips the band of all cred.

what are they supposed to do? break up? it's not like they just picked a random guy that liked their band off of myspace, they had a tryout and liked his vocals.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

"There's no variety, no range, no emotion, just him barking his head off"

the vocals on "of malice.." were the most uniform screaming I ever heard. Dont get me wrong, i loved it, but i don't think its fair to say stuff like that because the vocals were also the weaker part of "of malice". at least this new guy doesnt need to double-track his vocals to make them sound thicker.

personally i like this album and think its a step forward. mirrors is now one of my favourite songs.

misery signals are still excellent at what they do - heavy rhytm section and vocals with guitars often flitting to the melodic side, and lots of use of the bottom 3 strings. it's beautiful

moneenerd (August 22, 2006)

So I guess I just cant feel this new lineup because part of the appeal for me to Misery Signals was the amount of hardcore historic significance in not just the members, but the lyrics. Compromise and 7A7P all met terrible demises, and formed together a sort of super-group of sorts. Adding a new vocalist schmuck they found off MySpace of all fucking things just strips the band of all cred.

moneenerd (August 22, 2006)

MySpace Signals.

Everybody who loves the new MS vocalist has probably never heard Compromise.

crazytoledo (August 22, 2006)

Is it just me or does jesse zaraska look alot like pete from fall out boy????

Eh, kind of. If he were to go out and try to be more fashionable and crap like Pete, and kind of grew his hair out just a tad bit longer, then I'd defitinely agree.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Is it just me or does jesse zaraska look alot like pete from fall out boy????

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

I'm disappointed too!
I think this album is better than it was given credit for.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

I think "Of Malice..." was a terrible album and Jesse was a horrible vocalist. Vocally "Mirrors" isn't very good, but musically it is incredible. It kind of reminds me of Taken.

logan (August 22, 2006)

This was a dissapointing review. I was hoping that it would point out all the positives and showcase how good of a record this really is. They've stepped it up a notch and I think it's fucking brilliant. Misery Signals are carrying the torch for 'metalcore' or whatever the hell you want to call it. Great fuckin record.

danperrone (August 22, 2006)

i actually think this is one of the best metalcore albums i've heard in a long while...the old vocalist was horrible but i kind of like this guy

the music is a HELL of a lot better too...the title track is nuts

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

yeah - i'd have to say that Jesse's screaming voice was easily one of the worst recordings that has ever come out of this whole hardcore/metal thing of recent years. so this reviewer is obviously smoking crack...and saying that the vocals is what set this band apart from the herd? are you nuts! misery signals stands out easily because of their complexity that's mixed in with their atmospheric simplicities! its insane!

anyway listen to the horrible double-tracking of jesse's screaming voice all over the "Of Malice..." record! its terrible...his scream is so weak...his singing voice was better...but when he left, no big loss at all.

this new dude rules in that regards...

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Their new vocalist is good. I think the music has lost a lot of the middle ground they had on Of Malice... though. Now it seems they've got two gears: melodic chording or outright mosh.

HeresLookinAtYou (August 22, 2006)

ehhh about this band

on a positive note, this was actually a pretty good review from CT

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Fall Out Boy tainted this album.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

I saw them Saturday night at Yesterday Was Everything in Edmonton. Jesse came out for the last song to sing "The Year Summer Ended in June". This band is incredible. Karl kills it. This band kills it. The new album is rad. Watch it live, hear the album and fall in love with this band all over again...

Big_Guy (August 22, 2006)

I liked Jesse's vocals more, but Karl's vocals sound fine IMO. Plus Jesse double tracked his vocals I think. and I've heard that he had Matt Mixon come in to make them sound fuller.

the instrumentals are amazing and I would probably give this a 4 whereas OMATMH is a 4.5 or 5 in the metalcore genre.

The new guy is a fine replacement and I think this is the best metalcore album to come out since their last one

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

gotta disagree. shubach isn't totally uniqie, but he's not totally generic, either.

crazytoledo (August 22, 2006)

I think these two tid bits might get a kick out of some people:

1. Patrick Stump sings on 'One Day I'll Stay Home'

2. They found their new vocalist via a Myspace audition

tenwestchaser (August 22, 2006)

The first decent review I've read from you. Even though you can be a fucking douche on the boards, good job.

Dante3000 (August 22, 2006)

This band has as much promise as a date with a nun.
-Dante

istapledmyfoot (August 22, 2006)

I.. will probably buy this. The new singer does blow dudes though, bummer.

inagreendase (August 22, 2006)

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with crazytoledo. The music sounds promising but I can't get over that super generic, gruff metalcore scream.

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